Rio Ferdinand believes that Eric Bailly could be a huge success at Manchester United if he continues to work on the technical side of his game.
The Ivorian, Jose Mourinho’s first signing as Man United manager, has made 27 appearances in all competitions so far this season.
He has quickly endeared himself to supporters with his no-nonsense, bombastic style at the back, with his only real set-backs coming in the form of the occasional injury.
And Ferdinand, speaking to Sport360, believes that the 22-year-old will continue to improve under Jose Mourinho over the next year or so.
“He’s aggressive, he’s always on the front foot trying to win the first ball. That’s great, you’ve just got to pick your moments and making sure you don’t leave yourself exposed,” he said.
“He’s had a decent first season, in which a few injuries have set him back a little bit. He’s very athletic, which you need in the modern game.
“On the ball, it is something which he’ll need to keep on working. He’s got all the tools and credentials to be a top defender if he keeps on improving.”
The fact that Bailly’s style revolves around a puts-his-head-where-most-wouldn’t-put-their-foot mentality is not lost on anybody. We have seen the Ivorian, on multiple occasions, throw himself all across the pitch with superb levels of fervour – bordering on controlled violence at times – all season.
What ought to be recognised as well, however, is that Bailly’s prowess on the ball has dramatically improved since the first few months of the his United career. He is now far more confident when it comes to moving play forward and will, Mourinho hopes, remain injury free as his side embarks on the climax of their campaign.